The mitochondrial matrix ATPase associated with diverse cellular activities (m-AAA) protease spastic paraplegia 7 (SPG7) has been recently implicated as either a negative or positive regulatory component of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) by two research groups. To address this controversy, we investigated possible mechanisms that explain the discrepancies between these two studies. We found that loss of the SPG7 gene increased resistance to Ca2-induced mPTP opening. However, this occurs independently of cyclophilin D (cyclosporine A insensitive) rather it is through decreased mitochondrial Ca2 concentrations and subsequent adaptations mediated by impaired formation of functional mitochondrial Ca2 uniporter complexes. We found that SPG7 directs the m-AAA complex to favor association with the mitochondrial Ca2 uniporter (MCU) and MCU processing regulates higher order MCU-complex formation. The results suggest that SPG7 does not constitute a core component of the mPTP but can modulate mPTP through regulation of the basal mitochondrial Ca2 concentration.
Hurst, Stephen; Baggett, Ariele; Csordás, György; and Sheu, Shey-Shing, "SPG7 targets the m-AAA protease complex to process MCU for uniporter assembly, Ca2 influx, and regulation of mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening" (2019). Center for Translational Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 60.